6 Wake-Up Yoga Poses to Do in Bed!

Sadie Nardini by Sadie Nardini | March 16th, 2009 | 12 Comments
topic: Health & Wellness, Yoga

seated-twistWaking up doesn’t have to be something you do begrudgingly after pressing the snooze button nine times. It can be something you want to do, a crucial 5-minute window of opportunity that changes your whole day for the better.

If used wisely, the few minutes between being in dreamland and getting up can boost your best mood, kickstart your commitment to eat well, and increase your likelihood to work out that day — all while you’re still in bed! All that’s better than one more snooze button press, I’d say.

Whether your exercise form is yoga or not, studies say that if you wake up in a way that stimulates the body’s blood flow, balances the hormonal system and detoxes you, you’re more apt to continue those healthy habits all day long.

My students love this next sequence, for its ability to do all of the above, plus shake off sleep and promote more energy and alertness, while maintaining a calm, centered mind. Studies, schmudies … my clients say that doing this sequence (or not) is often what makes them decide to continue on with their morning workout, or to skip it.

Beginning to move mindfully before the mind’s resistance gets involved is a magic bullet — before the other eye opens, you’ll already well on their way to an endorphin-filled morning, and a more focused, fit, and self-confident day.

Now, that’s worth waking up for!

The Practice



Directly out of sleep or snooze, come to lie on your back. Place the feet together, knees open wide. Rest one hand an your lower belly and one over your chest as you begin to take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Inhale, and expand your body so the hands rise. Retain the inhale for a few beats, then let your exhale happen naturally as the hands fall. At the end of your exhale, contract around your navel to gently press the remaining air out of your lungs. Retain the exhale for a few counts.

Repeat for 10 breaths.



Start to work the kinks out of your low back and begin your cleansing inversions as you draw your knees back beside your ribcage. Press your hips towards the mattress, so your seat doesn’t lift up, and draw the knees down with fingers around the big toes, outer feet or behind your knees.

Hold for 5-10 breaths.



Take the pillow from behind your head and bend your knees to lift hips and place the pillow underneath. To fully detox, legs and hips must be elevated above the heart, heart above the head. So if more pillows are in order, keep ‘em handy. Lift your legs into the air, or rest them on your bed board or wall for more support.

Hold for 10 breaths or more.



Slowly roll onto your right side, and gently press up into a cross-legged easy seat. Wrap your right elbow over your left, bend the arms and touch left fingers to [or towards] the right palm. Lift your elbows to shoulder height, but drop the shoulders. Keep a long spine, and after a few breaths, try rounding the spine, chin to chest, to stretch the upper back.

Take 5-10 breaths here, then uncross arms and repeat with left elbow on top.



Return to a neutral spine, and bring your left hand onto right knee. Reach your right arm into the air on an inhale, and keeping the spine long, exhale and begin to spin your chest, right shoulder and head to the right. Circle your right arm behind you, fingertips down. Inhales maintain the length of your torso, exhales help you to gently spiral through the heart and neck as you tone and spark your energy.

Take 5-10 breaths on each side.



After your twist, swing your legs off the bed and come to stand with bent legs. Make fists and place them in the opposite elbows (Bent elbows and fists trigger your body to release tension in the back muscles). Fold over your bent legs, and relax your back, shoulders and head completely. Breathe here, feeling any unwanted tension draining into the floor. BTW: This is a great pose at work, or anytime you’re feeling an energy crash and want to get back on track!

Remain in the pose for one minute, then slowly roll to stand, reach overhead for a full body-stretching inhale. Continue into your morning workout, or go start your day from center!

For a transformative [and quick] morning workout, have my Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga: Power Hour DVD cued up and ready to go. You can do 20, 40 minutes, or the whole hour. All give you twice the strength, cardio and stretching benefits in less time.

For a video of my Wake Up Yoga in Bed sequence, click it!

Good morning!



  1. This is a great article – I started doing yoga in January and have absolutely loved it.. enough that I will be poking into classes that I’m not signed up for just to have a group to do it with!
    I would have never thought of doing yoga in bed in the morning, but it makes complete sense. Yoga is a great way to begin the day! Thank you for posting these great ideas – I’ll be sure to try them out in the morning! :)

    Amanda | April 16th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  2. Hi Amanda,

    I’m so glad you’re getting into yoga. It’s my fave!

    Let me know what you think and if this helps start your day off right,


    Sadie Nardini | April 17th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. Hi Sadie. I found your blog through twitter and it’s definitely inspiring to see suck good posts on yoga. The only thing is I haven’t ever tried it before but I really want to start. I’m 22 myself and I think I’m in some pretty poor shape. I have lower back/tailbone pain which I think is attributed to my bad posture and lack of exercise or maybe something more. I’m not overweight, I’m probably considered underweight haha but I just don’t know where to start. Would you have any tips or resources for me?

    Vanessa | May 6th, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  4. Howdy there! Just wanna say how awesome this yoga stances are! They are easy, fast (well I do it rather fast xD) and flow really well! I don’t have to memorize too much! Also, it starts from lying position, which is the position when you wake up. I look thru a lot of other pages, but your stances are the best so far =)
    Well I kinda insert more stances when I feel like it, but the core is yours ^_^
    Again, thank you =)

    Rin | August 31st, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  5. hay i tried it and it works realy well thanks!!

    miranda | September 11th, 2010 | Comment Permalink
  6. I love this! It’s easy to learn and it’s descriptive and it’s a great idea. Thanks!

    Me | November 4th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  7. ooh and do you know where I could find more great poses?

    Me | November 4th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  8. Glad you liked the post! For more great morning yoga, you might check out Rodney Yee’s “AM Yoga for Your Week.” Try it for free for 10 days on GaiamTV.com (along with hundreds more yoga and fitness videos): http://bit.ly/tHj21U. You can also purchase the DVD at http://bit.ly/vTgiNY.

    Valerie Gleaton
    Assistant Editor, Gaiam Life

    Valerie Gleaton | November 4th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  9. Love that happy baby pose. My hips need a good stretch like that.

    Clara | November 5th, 2011 | Comment Permalink
  10. I love this yoga routine it really helps me get up and ready to go to school at 6 in the morning.

    Madelyn | September 27th, 2012 | Comment Permalink
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  12. Had the urge to do yoga in bed this morning so I googled it and came across this article. these poses were perfect! Just what I needed. Finished with a quick sun-salutation sequence. Felt great!!

    Meredith | April 16th, 2014 | Comment Permalink

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